The Royal Parks Foundation – Bringing Learning to Life
Connecting children with nature and technology
“One of my fondest memories is planting bluebells in the freezing cold with our children’s school,” says Soma, Kusma Trust’s Executive Trustee. “The outdoors is an incredible place for learning and having fun at the same time.”
The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) agrees. They reported that ‘learning outside the classroom’ can have a transformational effect on students’ education and personal development – helping them become more confident and independent. Most importantly, students learn how to interact sensitively with the world around them.
In 2017, we awarded a grant of £15,000 to the Bringing Learning to Life education programme, run by the Royal Parks charity. The programme enhances the way children connect with nature and the outdoors and includes hands-on wildlife and science sessions out in the parks.
- 357 students and 89 accompanying teachers and parents benefited from the grant we awarded to the Bringing Learning to Life education programme in 2017/18.
- All teachers from participating schools rated their overall experience as “excellent”.
Taking technology outdoors
Part of the grant was used to buy 22 new weatherproof digital tablets – helping to bridge the gap between using technology and engaging with nature. Each tablet is now shared by two to threestudents in each session, encouraging social interaction, group discussion and learning.
The grant also helped update essential scientific equipment for practical fieldwork, like microscopes connected to iPads, and educational materials for learning outside.It also funded 10 schools from disadvantaged areas to attend the Bringing Learning to Life programme, which meant students who wouldn’t normally have access to this type of learning could use the technology and engage with the natural world around them.
“The tablets made an immediate difference to the experience of hundreds of visiting children. They can see a much clearer close-up images of resident invertebrates, like worms and slugs. As well as taking photos to make identification easier, they created videos to send back to school which helped consolidate and extend learning. This digital technology is enriching our programmes and is helping us experiment with new ideas and opportunities ”